Where every game means the world.

 Posted by on April 12, 2015  Tifo  2 Responses »
Apr 122015
 

Okay, so I’ll just get this out of the way: Allie Long made me cry.

It’s happened before. Vero made me cry more than once last year. Her passion for the game, her disappointment at losses, her love for the fans: her outward expression of these things brought tears from me regularly. Alex Morgan made me cry once when she herself was nearly in tears over the frustration she felt in herself over a less-than-stellar performance coming off an injury. There are pictures of Mana Shim in tears after a hard loss last year that invoke the No One Ever Cries Alone clause in my emotional contract with society at large.

But I didn’t expect it from Allie.

“I’ve said it a million times: my goal is to go to the World Cup or the Olympics so I’m just striving to keep improving and keep getting better,” she told the assembled media post-match.”The NWSL means everything. It’s all that I have to grow and get better each day, to achieve what I want for myself and the team.”

The NWSL means everything.

Listening to her answer questions about being one of the players expected to be in Portland for the full season rather than being called in to World Cup play, it was hard not to wonder how much that hurts. I think there’s still a part of her that believes there’s still a chance she’ll find herself in Canada this summer. And, in my humble and very biased opinion, I think she deserves to be there.

But the reality is this: it might take a lot of stars aligning to get her there.

And that, dear friends, was the point of the tifo.

I saw a fair few people post on Twitter and Facebook about how tonight’s tifo was a tribute to the players who will be playing in the World Cup this year. Well, sure, but it was more than that.

It was a tribute to those players who come from all over the world to play here, to play for us. It was a tribute to those players who pull on a Thorns shirt and play for the love of the club and have no aspiration to play for a national team. It was a tribute to those players who’ve had their shot at international play but won’t make the final roster heading into the World Cup.

Because here, in Portland, in Soccer City, USA, every match means the world.

Where every game means the world - Rose City Riveters tifo for Thorns v. Breakers, 04/11/15 - Photo courtesy of Ray Terrill.

Where every game means the world – Rose City Riveters tifo for Thorns v. Breakers, 04/11/15 – Photo courtesy of Ray Terrill.

There are dozens of little stories that could be told about the making of this tribute to our players: a last minute change of production venue when the first layers of paint weren’t yet dry that caused new swear words to be created; the hours and hours of work by dozens of volunteers who abandoned their families, their work, their friends and their normal lives; the absolute, collective refusal to let it be anything short of perfect. And those are the stories you’ll be a part of when you answer the next call for volunteers.

 

Apr 112015
 

It’s here. It’s finally here. It’s game day.

As per the Thorns game alert email, gates tonight are at 6 p.m. with kick at 7:07. Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) will open at 4:30 p.m. for ticket exchange, merch sales, 107ist membership sign-ups and renewals, and general merriment.

If you have spare tickets you’re not using, you can donate them to the Riveters by transferring them to ticketdonation@rosecityriveters.org. If you’re looking for a ticket, we’ll sell you one of those donated ones at face value and that money will go toward tifo and community projects. Last year, some of the proceeds of ticket sales went to the Jefferson Field project.

We’ve got a new shirt going on sale today. It’s a super-limited run. I sincerely mean it when I say “super-limited.” If you want one, you’ll need to come to Fanladen and you’ll need to do it early.

In stadium, we’ll again try to concentrate on getting all our most vocal Thorns supporters into sections 106, 107, and 108. Concentrated effort = greater volume = greater impact on the atmosphere. Learn the chants. Sing the chants. Support our Thorns. And please, especially today, be ready to go before the anthem. We need you all there. The Thorns need you all there.

***

Other stuff:

April 18: Following the match, the Portland chapter of American Outlaws is hosting an event previewing the Womens World Cup and featuring Thorns Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Rachel Van Holleke and Allie Long. Tickets are available through their Facebook page or at the AOPDX online store.  You don’t need to be a member to purchase tickets and proceeds benefit FC West. Let’s send them to nationals!. Go, go, go!

April 30: The 107ist is hosting the US premiere of “Jack to a King” at Cinema 21 with proceeds going to the Cinema 21 refurbishment and to the Jefferson Field resurfacing project. Tickets are available here.

 

And don’t forget the Oregon Humane Society’s #BiscuitChallenge. We’ve already seen a few Riveters post their videos. Will you be next?

Almost there….

 Posted by on March 21, 2015  Uncategorized  No Responses »
Mar 212015
 

With just weeks left before NWSL’s third season begins, players are arriving and plans are being set in motion. Today, we gather at Merlo Field to see our Thorns take on the University of Portland Pilots.

There’s history here. It was home to Portland’s patron saint of soccer, Clive Charles. It’s been the starting point for so many epic soccer careers. It was here that Tiffeny Milbrett scored her 100th international goal.

This field has played host to thousands of players from around the world and will host thousands more in years to come.

Those who know me know I’m a sappy, sentimental sort, but I’m going to say this anyway: if you’re on the fence about going today, get off the fence and go. And, when you get there, pause for a moment. Think about why you’re there. Is it purely for the sport? Is it for the fellowship of other soccer fans and supporters? Is it in support of the dreams of so many kids coming up through the system, that they may someday play on this field, wear these badges, live their dreams? There’s no wrong answer.

***

If you go, go early. Take public transit if you can as parking is limited.

We posted yesterday on the FB and Twitter that we’d be in sections H and I. The Pilots student sections are traditionally J, K and L. But, because this all feels so last-minute, it’s likely that we’ll have folks all over the stadium. We don’t have capos and drums lined up for this one so if you want a chant to get going, you’re going to have to do it yourselves. This is preseason, after all, and we’re just getting our voices back after the long offseason.

See you all on the bluff in a few hours.

 

Feb 052015
 

The long, dark offseason is nearly over. The schedule is out. Rumors of player departures and acquisitions are popping up in the strangest places. It’s time.

Let’s do this.

 

One more call for volunteers:

We’re looking for folks to join the travel, tifo, merch and membership committees. Grab an oar, folks, the boat is about to push back from the dock. Click here for links to the Google doc sign-up pages and more info about what it is we’re looking for. Don’t hesitate, the sign-up pages will close February 7. (But you can still email us at info@rosecityriveters.org if you want to volunteer later.)

 

And a preseason gathering:

Does it feel like forever since you’ve seen your fellow Thorns friends? Or, in social media cases, made or gained new followers and friends, but have never met them in person? It is time for our first Riveters meet-and-tweet. On February 21st, after you spend the morning planting trees, come out to Bazi from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.. We will be reminiscing about seasons past and watching the 2013 NWSL championship game, as well as discussing the upcoming season. There will be merch for sale, food and beer to consume, and new and old friends to hang out with.

(Heads up, a sing-along version of Purple Rain will follow our gathering, but is a separate event. If you want to stay for His Royal Purpleness, you’ll need to make a separate reservation through the Bazi website (bazipdx.com).)

(That was a lot of parentheses. Sorry.)

And some other stuff:

We’re working on info for away travel, not just for Seattle, but for each of the other eight NWSL cities. We’ll shout when that info is ready to release, so hold off on buying game tickets just now.

As far as Portland-based away day viewings, we’ll be looking for places you guys would like to gather to watch together. Bazi Bierbrasserie has been fantastic and will show most, if not all, away matches, but we’re looking to expand our reach. Do you know of a place in your neighborhood that might be willing to screen matches for us? Without knowing the television schedule, venues will need to be capable of streaming (ideally with sound), must be accessible and, ideally, should be all-ages. Extra points awarded for venues on MAX or bus lines for our mass-transity friends.

We’ll be doing some work on the website over the next few weeks to make it more functional. If you’ve got ideas or suggestions about what works and doesn’t work, please pass them along. Again, info@rosecityriveters.org.

 

I think that’s it for now. Go on about your business.